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Maine county official vows to fight criminal charges

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine county treasurer and school board member who was arrested last week has vowed that he will fight allegations that he stalked and harassed a local woman.

John Hiatt, 38, was arrested Friday afternoon for allegedly harassing a woman using his cellphone and the computer tablet issued to him by the Bangor School Department, the Bangor Daily News reported.

The charges include aggravated invasion of computer privacy, stalking, theft by unauthorized taking, and two counts of harassment.

Hiatt said Sunday that he would fight the charges “with every bone in my body.”

“Because I am innocent and have done nothing wrong,” he said. “I will cooperate with law enforcement and any prosecutor on the case. I believe in the American legal system.”

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Neither Peter Baldacci, chairman of the Penobscot County commissioners, nor Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP, returned requests for comment.

Hiatt claims that he is the victim, not the woman.

“Two weeks ago I suffered a sexual assault by a close female friend of mine,” Hiatt said.

Hiatt obtained a protection order against the woman on Nov. 13, 2018, that remained in place for a year. He attempted to gain another May 10 that was denied due to a search warrant that was issued on May 6 for his home and cellphone.

The Bangor School Department announced Friday plans to cooperate with authorities and to conduct an internal investigation.

School board chairwoman Carin Sychterz said Saturday that “appropriate action will be taken based on the results of the school department’s investigation.”

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